Gardening activities are a great way to get children involved with nature while teaching them about how things grow! Children can learn scientific concepts, cooperation skills, and more when taking part in gardening tasks and activities. It can be intimidating to start a garden if you have never done it before, so here are some tips for getting started!
Family child care homes across Alabama are starting gardens and introducing fresh local foods to the children in their care. Array of Light Home Care in Millbrook, AL has shown tremendous success in spreading the Farm to ECE movement across Alabama, and we are so excited to share their story in our newest success story video!
Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) is always a joy to see in action. It is often difficult to convey the excitement and impact of getting children involved in gardening with words alone. For this reason, we are very excited to have the opportunity to film and create videos highlighting some of the amazing work that is being done in child care programs in Alabama while allowing providers to tell their own stories.
We hope this newsletter serves as a useful resource for child care providers and those that work with child care providers.
Farm to Early Care and Education does not have to look the same for all child care programs. Some programs may take trips to a local farm, some read books about farming or growing fruit and vegetables, and some may plant seeds in recycled containers and watch them grow on the windowsill. The possibilities for incorporating Farm to ECE in the classroom are endless.
Though most local grocery suppliers offer some form of organic or healthy options for produce, two resources that Kaitlyn has always treasured are local fruit stands and farmer’s markets.
Through our Farm to ECE Learning Collaboratives, we learn from each other about gardening, food and farming education, and local food purchasing. Farm to ECE Learning Collaboratives often include trainings, action periods, and technical assistance from the Farm to ECE trainers.
Encouraging healthy eating habits in early childhood is beneficial for young children as they grow. One of the best ways to promote healthy eating habits to young children is through positive exposure to fruits and vegetables. Introducing new foods to kids can be a difficult task, but there are many ways to make it a fun and positive experience!
Holiday Gifts and Decorations from Your Garden: Creating Holiday Keepsakes with Master Gardener Bionca Lindsey
During the month of December, Ms. Bionca talked about how to create wonderful gifts and decorations from items that can be found in a garden. Ms. Bionca and the participants also did a craft together, creating beautiful bird feeders out of pinecones, peanut butter, and bird seeds!
When children get to put their hands in the dirt, it transforms their whole world. At Ms. Sharon Jackson’s Array of Light Childcare in Millbrook, this is happening every day.